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Is karate an external or internal martial art


Karate, an internal or external martial artIs karate an external or internal martial art?

We could indeed ask the question because we often hear aboutinternal martial arts or external martial arts.

But what exactly is it for karate ? in which category is it?

- If I believe the definition developed in Wikipedia, you could believe that Karate is neither in an internal martial art, nor an external martial art because they do not even speak about it ...

- But if I believe what I read often, in some forums for example, Karate would rather be a external martial art

Yet our teachers speak to us very often internal energy…no?

Internal Martial Art, or external martial art, in the end, what is it?

Some time ago on Facebook someone had asked a question (I do not remember the person in question, sorry ) a bit similar:

There is one question I would like to raise. What is meant by internal force and external force? For example, strength is inside and outside of what? Is there any real external martial arts? etc ...

and here is what I said:

Originally martial arts called "internal" are influenced by the current of thought Taoist and especially the fear of death which entails martial styles based on an internal search for a long life and on the absorption of the action, and the use of the strength of the other. These martial arts will orient their work on the search for the internal balance of the body, on meditation ...

The so-called "external" martial arts are they, influenced by thought Buddhist and his belief in reincarnation. This breeds martial styles with outward-looking actions (transmitting one's strength to the other) and a stronger commitment to combat. The external work will consist in the beginning of a physical training of the body to gain in pure strength and speed ...

After each martial arts there is a little internal and a little external because we can not be content with a single element. If one only meditates, or raises cast iron, it is not enough to make a martial art.

So to answer the question: What is meant by internal force and external force?

Externally, not much difference, except that the internal force will be more subtle because it will not depend on the size of the muscles ... but will be the result of a reflection on the placement of the body, on different connections, on the different internal pressure, on the breathing ...

The so-called "internal" force is the optimal use of the body through meditation, relaxation, concentration, reflection ... in short, the use of the brain, in order to develop maximum power.

This is what we are all looking for. But if we do it only by developing our musculature, we make the pure external and if we do it only by meditating, pure internality. I purposely take the extremes

I do not know if I'm clear, but from the moment you try to optimize your performance by thinking about what's going on in your body, you're doing internal work.

So to answer the last question, in my opinion, there is no martial arts purely external because past a certain level we will necessarily think more finely to gain efficiency.

So you will understand, in my opinion, Karate which is a priori a external martial artbecause it is taught as such, can become over the years of practice and research a internal martial art. Or rather become a clever mix between the two.

I think the more we advance on the way of Karateo the more we seek efficiency within ourselves rather than in our musculature and our art becomes a internal martial art.

Attention, it is not that I think that an internal practice is better than an external practice but rather than in fact it is a normal evolution in the training of Karateka that to do more and more internal .

Karate is rather based on muscle building and a search for the efficiency of the body, so it is external martial artbut the more we advance in our practice and in our research, the more our intelligence, our wisdom, our control, ... will take over our physical capacities and the more we will integrate an internal work into our approach.

In fact Karate is, in my opinion, both a external martial art, based on sometimes hard work, but also a internal martial art in the sense that it is also based on a search for a personal development of the body ... and of the mind.

"Mens sana in corpore sano! "

Or as if Saveriu, a subscriber to KBN who just sent me this comment by mail:

"For the ball to bounce, is it more important that it's inside or outside with leather?"
Everyone will understand that only the synergy of the two will be the key ... "

And you what do you think ? And especially how do you feel Karate, ... your Karate ... Internal or External?

Tell me now in a comment below!

See you soon,

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  1. Hello, I rather heard about the internal school and the external school in Karate. Which is not the same thing.
    If we see this under a purely respiratory, muscular or bio mechanical aspect the notion of internal and external seems to me to be irrelevant because 99% presents sports activities lambda.
    The use of the body and its head in total symbiosis seems obvious to me for the martial arts but also for all sports whatever they are. Managing a physical confrontation without strategy or tactics is Russian roulette. In a competition at the worst we lose! on a battlefield (definition of martial art) at worst we die! and this is possible only once it appears! ; (

  2. Does not the intern simply aim for the use of deep, non-articular muscles? Like the deep abs, the back muscles, ... This gives more power and reduces all joint problems (osteoarthritis, ...) that eventually causes the use of external muscles, particularly limbs. These only prolong and finalize the action of the deep muscles.

  3. Hello Bruno

    yes I think that karate is more external than internal but that both are indispensable for the discipline I practice tai chi and karate, tai chi is a rather internal martial art, by breathing and slow movements that the we must do, and karate seems to me a discipline that requires efforts say more external but I think that breathing and concentration have a major role also in the background. the two disciplines complement each other very well by their internal and external aspects.

  4. Hello everyone,

    When we look at a person practicing karate, we immediately see that it is not a sport that is external to the way all movements are chained. Unfortunately I have a Master who makes us work on a side that seems very external.
    But karate can be composed only of one external side is internal, one part can not exist without the other.

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